Asia possesses many of the world’s largest and fastest-growing economies. In this era of growing discord and crisis in the West, the majority of nations around the world are looking to Asia to set a different example. The region took center stage in the week of November 11 to 18 as the emerging economies of Cambodia, Indonesia, and Thailand hosted the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit, the G20, and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting respectively. These important exchanges provided numerous opportunities for major countries to assert their leadership on the world stage. And in this regard, it was China that shined the brightest.
I want to conclude by referring to a meeting currently taking place there in Egypt, they call it the COP. This is COP number I don’t know what exactly, because since 1995 when they started doing these meetings there in Germany, because they were worried about global warming, about poisoning the planet, about the destruction of the planet. And they reach agreements, but they don’t fulfill any of them, and then they get back together and they make more agreements, and they don’t fulfill any of those either. Who does not comply? The countries that pollute the planet the most, the very ones that should comply with what the agreements mandate. Because countries like ours here in Central America and the Caribbean, which do not have high levels of pollution but are rather the victims of global warming, hence the hurricanes, the droughts, everything...
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said a “wave of debt crises” may be coming in the Global South, and “the global economy is headed for stormy waters,” as the world faces a “geopolitical realignment” that will be “permanent.” The US-dominated financial institution warned “the worst is yet to come,” as the depreciation of most currencies against the dollar and rising interest rates make it hard for both governments and companies to service their dollar-denominated debt. The director of the IMF’s research department, Pierre‑Olivier Gourinchas, made these comments in a press briefing on October 11. Countries comprising a third of the entire global economy are expected to contract in 2022 or 2023, he prognosticated. “In short, the worst is yet to come; and for many people, 2023 will feel like a recession,” he said.
The West’s economic prosperity following the end of the first cold war in 1991 was built on a neoliberal capitalist economic model that was only made possible due to the extraction of wealth from China and Russia, the European Union’s top foreign-policy official, Josep Borrell, has confessed. “Our prosperity was based on China and Russia – energy and market,” Borrell said. China provided the US and EU with a massive market, low-paid labor, and cheap consumer goods. And after the Soviet Union was overthrown, mass privatizations in Russia and steps at integrating it into the West helped Europe secure huge amounts of inexpensive energy. But the significant rise in workers’ living standards in China, as well as the proxy war in Ukraine and the EU’s corresponding pledge to boycott Russian gas and oil, have greatly increased the cost of living and doing business in Europe, making its products uncompetitive in global markets.
It is impossible to track the geoeconomic turbulence inherent to the “birth pangs” of the multipolar world without the insights of Professor Michael Hudson at the University of Missouri, and author of the already seminal The Destiny of Civilization. In his latest essay, Professor Hudson digs deeper into Germany’s suicidal economic/financial policies; their effect on the already falling euro – and hints at some possibilities for fast integrating Eurasia and the Global South as a whole to try to break the Hegemon’s stranglehold. That led to a series of email exchanges, especially about the future role of the yuan, where Hudson remarked: “The Chinese whom I’ve talked to for years and years did not expect the dollar to weaken. They’re not crying about its rise, but they are concerned about flight capital from China as I think after the Party Congress [starting on October 16] there will be a crackdown on the Shanghai free-market advocacy. Pressure for the coming changes has been long building up.
Delivering his September 24 speech, Wang began by noting that humanity was facing various challenges, including the continued resurfacing of the Covid-19 pandemic, uncertain global security, and fragile and unsteady global recovery. “The world has entered a new phase of turbulence and transformation…But we are also at a time full of hope. The world continues to move towards multipolarity…Around the world, the people’s call for progress and cooperation is getting louder than ever before.” Posing the question of how to “ride on the trend of history to build a community with a shared future for mankind”, he explained that “China’s answer is firm and clear.”
As humanity hurtles inexorably toward a steady-state, no-growth economy, whether by choice or the imperatives of climate collapse, the idea of sharing electricity on a global scale is becoming more relevant than ever. Such an infrastructure would deliver huge benefits. It would spur adoption of renewable energy and reduce carbon emissions while making the world's power systems more flexible and resilient. The systems thinker and maverick architect Buckminster Fuller first proposed the World Grid idea in the 1970s. While the idea was daringly futuristic then, it garnered some serious attention. When the World Grid concept was presented by Canadian prime minister Pierre Trudeau to then-USSR premier Leonid Brezhnev, Soviet technical experts concluded that the concept was "feasible" and "desireable."
China—along with Russia—shares the attention of an increasingly provocative United States. Confusing rhetoric regarding policy in Taiwan, unsanctioned trips from powerful American political figures to Taipei and other agitating measures point to a new chapter emerging in the relationship between China and the U.S. Author and columnist Zachary Karabell, who has extensive experience in writing about China and doing business there, joins Scheer Intelligence to remind us of the extensive economic relationship that exists between the two world powers. He focuses on his book “Super Fusion: How China and America Became One Economy And Why The World Depends On It,” and how a souring between them could spell more trouble at home.
In mid-September 2022, the nine-member Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) met in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, for its 22nd Meeting of the Council of Heads of State. Because China, India, and Pakistan are members of the SCO, the organization represents about 40% of the world’s population; with the addition of Russia, the SCO countries make up 60% of the Eurasian territory (the other member states of the organization are Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and now Iran). In its Samarkand Declaration, the final declaration of this meeting, the SCO represented itself as a “regional” organization, although the sheer scale of the SCO would allow it to claim to be a global organization with as much legitimacy as the G-7.
In our INET working paper, “China’s Development Path,” we employ the “social conditions of innovative enterprise” framework to analyze the key determinants of China’s development path from the economic reforms of 1978 to the present. First, we focus on how government investments in human capabilities and physical infrastructure provided foundational support for the emergence of Chinese enterprises capable of technological learning. Second, we delve into the main modes by which Chinese firms engaged in technological learning from abroad—joint ventures with foreign multinationals, global value chains, and experienced high-tech returnees—that have contributed to industrial development in China. Third, we provide evidence on achievements in indigenous innovation —by which we mean improvements in national productive capabilities that build on learning from abroad and enable the innovating firms to engage in global competition—in the computer, automobile, communication-technology, and semiconductor-fabrication industries. Finally, we sketch out the implications of our approach for the role of innovation in China’s development path as it continues to unfold.
In April 2022, the United Nations established the Global Crisis Response Group on Food, Energy, and Finance. This group is tracking the three major crises of food inflation, fuel inflation, and financial distress. Their second briefing, released on 8 June 2022, noted that, after two years of the COVID-19 pandemic: the world economy has been left in a fragile state. Today, 60 per cent of workers have lower real incomes than before the pandemic; 60 per cent of the poorest countries are in debt distress or at high risk of it; developing countries miss $1.2 trillion per year to fill the social protection gap; and $4.3 trillion is needed per year – more money than ever before – to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This is a perfectly reasonable description of the distressing global situation, and things are likely to get worse.
The Chinese government had launched a large scale program to solve the problem once and for all. It subsidized companies to move production facilities to Xinjiang. For geographic reasons these are now mostly in the northern part of Xinjiang. The government also organized large camps for vocational and language training. After people went through those they were offered jobs in the new factories where they work in exchange for normal wages. The U.S. anti-China propaganda campaign claims that these Uighur people were forced to take up their new jobs and calls that 'forced labor'. It is not. Working in some industry far from home is normal in China. It is the reason why each year during the Spring Festival season 300 million people in China travel to reunite with their families. Real forced labor is what one sees in the U.S. prison industry where prisoner have no choice but to work for a few pennies which the prison will in the end regain due to absurd prices for small necessities prisoners have to pay for.
The catastrophic economic consequences of the 'western' proxy war with Russia are setting in. As a result the high inflation, caused by supply side constrains due to sanctions and far too much spending, will ruin the middle classes of many countries. To those who did not wear blinders and who knew of the real economies of the 'west' and Russia this was very predictable and predicted: The U.S. is pushing its European 'allies' to commit economic suicide by sanctioning everything Russia. The U.S. should be more careful. It is one of the biggest buyers of Russian oil and its aircraft industry depends on titanium from Russia. Russia surely knows who is trying to hurt it the most and it surely knows how, and has the means to, hurt back. The hurt has not at all reached its peak. This winter will be very difficult for Europe. Poor countries are even worse off. Many will experience hunger crises and riots.
Look no further than to the fruit and vegetable farmers in Europe and the United States who destroyed perfectly good produce because corporate food processors lacked the resiliency to adapt to changing consumption demands. The 2.5 million farmworkers in the U.S., at the same time, risked their lives for poverty-level wages without personal protective equipment. Meanwhile, just four corporations, globally, control 75 percent of the world’s grain trade and 60 percent of our seeds. In the U.S., four firms dominate 75 percent of the fertilizer supply and 85 percent of beef processing. Such concentration takes freedom from farmers, taking from them the ability to negotiate the prices of what they sell and the inputs, such as feed and seed, that they purchase.
Iran has proposed creating a new currency to do trade with China, Russia, India, Pakistan, and other members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Tehran sent a letter to the SCO in early 2022 suggesting that a new currency could help the Eurasian nations strengthen their bilateral trade with each other, according to Iran’s foreign minister for economic diplomacy, Mehdi Safari. A Eurasian currency would also make it easier for these countries to circumvent unilateral Western sanctions, which are illegal under international law. Such a development would directly challenge the US-dominated financial system and the status of the dollar as the de facto global reserve currency. The US dollar is still used in the majority of global trade transactions, although the overall percentage is shrinking by the year.